A lot can change in the blink of an eye. You think you are in one place then suddenly you’re not. Your direction has shifted. I suppose life is a series of paths that all lead to the same final destination. It’s our journey getting there that’s the challenge. Do we have a choice though as to which paths we take or is the journey already mapped out? If we make a conscious decision to not take a certain path are there something’s that no matter how much we try to steer ourselves away from them we find ourselves back at that point. We all have responsibility to ourselves for the choices we make but I believe some things are unmovable and significant in our lives and are just meant to happen. We need to experience them because somehow they are important and life shaping. Whether it be an event or a person. Today I revisited a path that I hadn’t seen in 27 years. My friend Mark lives near Easter Road cemetery and every time I visit him I look out of his living room window onto the graves. I do so because the trees look nice, I’ve always quite liked cemeteries as I find them interesting but also because my paternal grandfather is buried there with his second wife who died some years after him. My grandad died in the November of 1987 after a short illness. He had lived with my mum, dad and me till I was 7 when he got his own place and we moved into one of the many houses we lived in. In 1980 we moved in with Nana and the rest is history as they say ( although I’ve never been sure who “they” are?). So grandparents have featured heavily in my life. I remember at the time my dad being dismayed at my Grandad’s wife’s wishes that he be buried in the plot she had bought for them both in Easter Road. My Grandad was a Hearts supporter so there lies the problem. When I left Mark’s I instinctively turned right at the end of the road rather than my usual left and went to the cemetery. I wasn’t sure if I would find the grave but I remembered it was on the right path as you entered through the gates. I walked along the path, the images of the funeral, the people, family I hadn’t seen in years coming back to me. I’m sure it’s on the left grass bank on this path. I remembered and then in between mostly large, well tended headstones was this:
So small and insignificant most people would walk past it and never stop to read that one unlike some of the others. I remembered being 17 standing there on that sunny November day. I also remember going back to his house afterwards and getting drunk with my cousins – although I seemed to be drunker. Quel bloody surprise! I remembered and then my life flashed forward to where I was at that moment standing on the path again. I turned and followed the path back out and on to the main road feeling unexpectedly teary and making the decision to return again.
I then headed for my special place. I hadn’t been for a couple of weeks and I was feeling the need. Why do certain things happen? Why did I take that job? What would have happened if I’d said ‘No!’? What would have happened if I’d said ‘Yes!’? Why did I choose that? The thing is I can’t change any of it. You move along your path the best you can but every now and again your path will cross with another path and these points are fixed and have special meaning. They might not always be what we hoped for, they might be challenging, difficult, painful but they are happening for a reason. They are continuing to shape you. You need to live them. Then perhaps one day your path crosses with another and your life changes forever. Full of love, gratitude and happiness.
So I entered through another set of gates this time to a place I see my future in and straight away noticed something new. Something that had recently added.
I believe the route I take is destined. I can dress it up as choice making but if I am meant to be at a particular spot at a particular time or meet a certain person on a certain day then no matter what detours I take our paths will cross no matter what. Whether direct or the scenic route it’s what I do once I’m there that counts.
There is always a new path. I decided to walk it and see what I would find.
Nighty night xx
Ps 174 days